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This Paper Highlights The Differences Between The Han And Manchu Social Groups, As Well As The Various Social Clashes And Changes Which Existed In 11th Century Chinese Culture.

663 words - 3 pages

The Qing conquest of Ming China placed the numerically superior ethnic group of the Han Chinese under the rule of the outsider Manchurians. The Han Chinese had governed China by way of the Ming dynasty for nearly three hundred years, until the Manchu Qing Dynasty usurped the Ming through military conquest in 1644 A.D. The Qing Dynasty was not the first non-ethnic Chinese dynasty to control China. The Yuan Dynasty was established in 1279 A.D. and was ethnically Mongolian. Just as the Mongolian culture had differed from the Han, so did the Manchu. The Han Confucian ideology placed emphasis on how regional differences in the environment allowed Manchu and Han culture to develop differently, but not equally. Both the Manchu and Han clearly identified themselves as separate ethnic groups and through social ideology, personal appearance, and fighting mentality, their ethnic differences become clear.The largest difference between the Han and Manchu cultures was their perception of outsiders. The Han Chinese had long been believers of Confucian ideology. This line of thought placed the Han at the center of earthly importance. The Han saw "alien groups living outside the pale of Chinese society as distant savages hovering on the edge of bestiality" (Dikotter 4). The Han characters for the names of outside ethnic groups incorporated "an animal radical" that degrades outsiders to a near-animal status; the Qing character denoted a sheep radical (Dikotter 4). The sheer number of Han Chinese combined with their Confucian ideas created a society that believed itself to be culturally superior to other ethnicities. Moreover, the large number of Han Chinese fostered the belief that outside groups, such as the Qing, would be more vulnerable to assimilation than the Han. The emphasis on the uniqueness of the Han ethnicity created an inherent racism in Chinese society.The Han and Manchu cultures differed greatly in traditional dress. The Manchu hairstyle was to have a clean-shaven face and a clean-shaven head. The hairs in...

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